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Right now I'm learning about constructions of occurences and I have a quesitions about some fact.

Let's assume someone asks you if you could help him. And he says the following (excerpt from the course):

Если, конечно, ты располагаешь свободным временем.

My question is, is располагаешь mandatory here or can I, for example, also form the following?

Если у тебя есть свободное время.


располагать means to have and for me it is the same as у xxx есть. I know I must use this располагать because the course says so, but concurrently I often here people say У меня нет времени сейчас. So why do they not use: Я не располагаю временем сейчас.

Appreciating your response!

  • You use nominative with есть (positive) but genitive with нет (negative): у меня есть время / у меня нет времени. – Quassnoi Mar 30 '16 at 19:36
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    Slight correction: располагаешь свободным временем – Dmitri Mar 30 '16 at 22:35
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Располагать + inst. means "to have something at one's disposal". The Russian word itself is an apparent calque of Latin disponere or one of its descendants.

It's usually said when you don't actually own the thing (time, resources etc.), but it's available for you to use at your convenience.

However, in most if not all cases it can be freely replaced by иметь, either in this very form or as a proximal possession clause. It's just a matter of style, располагать is officialese.

Ты располагаешь свободным временем and у тебя есть свободное время are synonyms.

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So why do they not use: Я не располагаю временем сейчас

Although this sentence is "a right one", but it sounds like a quote from a hundred-years-old book.

can I, for example, also form the following? Если у тебя есть свободное время.

Yes, you can. Although I should add that on many occasions people don't even care mentioning "free time". So quite often just saying: "Если [тебе] не трудно, ..." or "Если [Вас] не затруднит,..." is sufficient. On the other hand, "У тебя есть свободное время" is rather a question on its own, than a conditional clause.

I.e. you ask if a person has free time first, and then ask if he/she could do you a favour. But if you try to say all in a single sentence, kind of "please, could you do me a favour, but only if you have free time, of course", then it's usually more natural to say "если не трудно" or something like that.

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